Public contributors unite in York

27 Jul 2023

Members of the British Heart Foundation Data Science Centre’s public advisory group got together for their first face to face Public Advisory Group meeting in York earlier this summer.

The event was an opportunity for public contributors to meet in person, and for colleagues from across the data science centre to celebrate and pay thanks to the group.

The session included interactive discussions, collaboration, and an inspirational talk from one the Centre’s public contributors.

The public advisory group provides guidance and support to the BHF Data Science Centre, ensuring that public and patient involvement and engagement (PPIE) is embedded across our work. The group was established in the first few years of the Centre’s inception and has rapidly grown to a group of twenty public contributors with lived experience of heart and or circulatory disease. Up until recently the group has joined together remotely providing integral support across the Centre’s work.

Samaira Khan – the Centre’s PPIE manager – opened the event and spent time highlighting some of the key outputs and impact as a result of PPIE involvement over the last 12 months. These include co-presenting webinars, co-authoring blogs and papers and involvement across work areas.

“Meeting in person with our public contributors was incredibly valuable because it allowed us to form genuine connections that are hard to achieve through online communication alone. This personal interaction provided an excellent environment for developing empathy, trust, and a deeper understanding of our work.”

Samaira Khan
PPIE Manager

Public contributors then had the pleasure of hearing from the Centre’s Associate Director’s Professor Tim Chico and Professor Michelle Williams, who invited the group to share their expertise, ideas and input during an interactive session which will help inform the Centre’s future.

Finally, it was crucial for us to hear from one of our public contributors, who all bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Centre. John Walsh a long-standing member of the public advisory group delivered a speech highlighting the importance of effective communication with the public. John’s background includes technical publishing and public and media relations in science research.

“I always urge researchers to make their PPI people work, get value out of them, they’re not there for decoration; I’m so pleased that the Data Science Centre is adopting the same policy towards its public contributors.”

John Walsh
Public Contributor

This noteworthy event marked the start of future -in-person Public Advisory Group meetings which will bolster the Centre’s long-term commitment to PPIE. This shared commitment will ensure that meaningful and transparent use of data, is used to advance treatment and care for diseases of the heart and circulation.

For more information about our latest activities and opportunities head over to our patient and public involvement page.  

You can read the full summary overview of the meeting here.

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